Longing, Poets

Time – Michel Quoist

All complain that they haven’t enough time.
They look at their lives from too human a point of view.
There is always time to do what God wants us to do,
but we must put ourselves completely into each moment offered now.
I went out, Lord. People were coming and going, walking and running.

Everything was rushing; cars, trucks, the street, the whole town.
Rushing not to waste time.
To catch up with time, to gain time.
Good bye, excuse me, I haven’t time.
I’ll come back, I can’t wait, I haven’t time.
I must end this letter – I haven’t time.
I’d love to help you, but I haven’t time.
I can’t accept, having no time.
I can’t think, I can’t read, I’m swamped, I haven’t time.
I’d like to pray, but I haven’t time.

You understand, Lord, they simply haven’t the time.
The child is playing, he hasn’t time right now… later on…
The schoolboy has his homework to do, he hasn’t time… later on…
The student had his courses, and so much work… later on…
The young man is at his sports, he hasn’t time… later on…
The young married man has his new house; he has to fix it up, he hasn’t time… later on…
The grandparents have their grandchildren, they haven’t time… later on…
They are dying, they have no…
Too late! They have no more time!

And so people run after time, Lord.
They pass through life running – hurried, jostled, overburdened, frantic,
and they never get there. They haven’t time.
In spite of all their efforts they’re still short of time.
Of a great deal of time.

Lord, you must have made a mistake in your calculations.
There is a big mistake somewhere.

The hours are too short, the days are too short.
Our lives are too short.

You who are beyond time, Lord, you smile to see us fighting it.
And you know what you are doing.
You make no mistakes in your distribution of time to men.
You give each one time to do what you want him to do.
But we must not lose time
waste time,
kill time,
For time is a gift that you give us,
But a perishable gift,
A gift that does not keep.

Lord, I have time,
I have plenty of time,
All the time that you give me,
The years of my life, the days of my years, the hours of my days.
They are all mine.
Mine to fill, quietly, calmly,
But to fill completely, up to the brim.
To offer them to you, that of their insipid water You may make a rich
wine as you made once in Galilee.

I am not asking you today, Lord, for time to do this and then that,
but your grace to do conscientiously, in the time that you give,
what you want me to do.

– Michel Quoist (1918-1997) Prayers Of Life

– Edited by Matt very slightly for modern non-gender specific language.